UK police get more time to quiz cleric
LONDON: British anti-terror police were granted more time to quiz radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri who already faces extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.
British police arrested Abu Hamza on Thursday on suspicion of being involved “in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
Detectives have now been given until September 2 to question him after magistrates on Friday approved an extension to his detention. Abu Hamza was already being held at London’s Belmarsh high security prison under a US extradition warrant when he was arrested. The cleric, who lost both hands and an eye in Afghanistan fighting Soviet forces, has been indicted in the United States on 11 counts including having a role in a 1998 hostage taking in Yemen in which four people died.
The US indictment also said he helped set up a “terrorist training camp” in the US state of Oregon. British police have said the British case was a separate domestic investigation.
Egyptian-born Abu Hamza, also known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, has concerned British and US authorities for several years by preaching in praise of Osama Bin Laden and the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Britain accused him of supporting terrorism and stripped him of British citizenship last year, and police were already considering bringing charges against him for encouraging terrorism through his sermons before the US case was launched. reuters